The last fully Australian-made Regent caravan rolled off its Somerton production line early this year, with the caravan-building enterprise now based overseas. Given the associated economies of scale benefits, the brand has had the opportunity to make great gains in terms of quality of build and finish.
I say this with confidence and sincerity after reviewing the Regent 22ft Cruiser RC220 — a superbly presented twin-axle semi-offroad van with tick-the-boxes technology, intelligent interior design, and a robust exterior with plenty of aesthetic appeal.
The Cruiser enters Australia much as you see it — including chassis, walls, floor, roof, furniture, and cupboard doors, but the suspension, water tanks, hatches, awning, and air-conditioner are installed in Melbourne. Plumbing and electrical fittings are ‘roughed in’ during the build, but fitted at Regent HQ to meet Australian standards.
Regent RV’s dealer liaison and after-sales service officer Nicole Jorgensen says the Chinese-owned company has a seamless advantage.
“Having the same owner, we’re strongly aligned with Snowy River Caravans,” she said. “We’re intent on getting things right from the start with pride and diligence in our workmanship. We also have total autonomy, thus control of our own destiny.”
Around the Outside
When I critically examine a van externally, there are certain things that immediately catch my eye. In the case of this Regent, there are many!
Obviously, the show stealer is the van’s flashy composite construction, with a fibreglass inner and outer shell. The front and rear are fully moulded.
What lies beneath is a fully-boxed aluminium frame (floor, walls, and roof) and high-density XPS insulating foam.
Subsequently there’s no timber — it’s more water resistant, given there’s nothing that can rot. The van is well-insulated from temperature extremes.
I’m also impressed with the Cruiser’s aerodynamic exterior, which provides improved fuel efficiency and a safer towing experience.
There’s abundant stowage with a front boot and full-width tunnel boot, while Raptor coating and a front window offer protection. The two 9kg gas cylinders are also well-protected.
Other external features are new technology including a 270-degree wireless reversing camera system, which can transmit four different camera views to the tow vehicle’s dashboard; a 170W solar flat panel which is more robust and flexible; a 17ft Carefree Altitude awning; quad-lock entry door; 12V LED entry step; LED grab handle; fold-down picnic table with LED lighting; massive Fusion outdoor speaker; exterior shower; a recessed spare wheel, which saves on overhang; fully adjustable rear bumper; and two 95L water tanks. This Regent also comes with a Fogatti instantaneous hot water service — no tank and no waiting time!
An electrical setup including a 1x200Ah lithium battery and Projecta PM300 battery management system will give you peace of mind when you head off-grid.
At 2899kg tare and 3500kg ATM, it’s a ‘lump’ of a van, so you’ll need a reliable 4WD at the helm. But that gives you a healthy 601kg of payload, allowing you to take away all but the kitchen sink during your travels.
We towed the Cruiser RCC220 with an Isuzu D-Max 4X4 around the picturesque Mornington Peninsula hamlets of Flinders and Shoreham. It tracked smooth as silk on its Raptor-coated 4in DuraGal chassis, AL-KO torsion suspension and 235/75 R15 tyres, while the Lippert sway command kept it ‘as straight as a die.’ Regent states, “it tows like a dream on wheels” — and it's true.
Internally, the Regent Cruiser oozes panache and pizzazz via modern design and contemporary styling. But it’s like that old Demtel ad where you get the free ‘steak knife’ — “wait, there’s more!” Once you walk inside, it immediately reveals improved utilisation of internal space and storage.
The pièce de resistance is a combination of the central slide-out queen-size bed (east-west), club lounge and full kitchen (up front), and full-width ensuite (rear) with a washing machine.
The bed, with a 1880x1530mm innerspring mattress, is operated by a slide-out mechanism. Directly opposite is a Smart TV and wardrobes, which demonstrate clever use of storage space.
Meanwhile, the massive club lounge simply invites entertaining, relaxation, and stylish open-plan dining, while the galley has all the necessary mod cons to cook up a storm — including a Dometic fan-forced oven, Dometic RUA6408X 188L fridge, and NCE 23L microwave. The postform benchtops are real eye candy.
The bathroom also features a separate fully moulded shower with shampoo shelf and footrest, and a ceramic cassette toilet.
I’m also sold on the large flat, double-glazed windows included in the bedroom, kitchen and living room, which provide panoramic vistas while the blockouts and screens provide privacy and shade. The Cruiser is also well lit with LED downlights and strip lighting (overhead/floor).
Additionally, the matte black accents offer panache and perfectly complement the caravan’s leather upholstery.
In terms of structural and manufacturer’s warranty, Regent RV offers a five-year structural warranty and a two-year material and parts warranty.
This covers Regent-manufactured components; Regent-manufactured galvanised, painted, Raptor coat chassis (excluding adjustments and rubber); Regent manufactured walls and roofs; delamination and cracking; and AL-KO torsion suspension (excluding adjustments).
However, the following items are not covered under Regent’s warranty policy: water damage or ingress from floods or river crossings; impact or stone damage to body; wheel alignment if affected by large impacts; offroad use, roads or tracks described as not being suitable; failures, defects and/or damage resulting from unauthorised modifications.
Regent RV also advises that its range has not been specifically designed for offroad use. (It manufactures its own chassis, floors, roofs and walls which provide strength, durability for gravel roads and mild offroad conditions.)
The company adds, due to gas regulations, its RVs cannot claim to be water and dust proof. Therefore, Regent caravans should not be exposed to water crossings at floor level or above. Towing at an appropriate speed in accordance with the road and weather conditions is advised.
Finally, Regent caravans have not been designed for extreme offroad use such as undulating 4WD tracks. Subsequent damage that occurs from unreasonable use is not covered by warranty.
The Bottom Line
The Regent Cruiser RCC220 is a nicely appointed semi-offroader that is purpose-built for Australia’s harsh climate.
It comprises a robust combination of aluminium frame, high-density XPS insulating foam, and a fibreglass finish, while in celebrating its 30th year Regent RV has made significant inroads in terms of design and technological flair.
Regent Cruiser RCC220
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
Body length 7.77m (25ft 3in)
Overall length 9.12m (29ft 11in)
Width 2.4m (7ft 10in)
Height 2.95m (9ft 8in)
Payload 601kg (calculated)
Ball weight 180kg
Chassis Raptor coated
Coupling 50mm ball
Water 2 x 95L
Battery 1 x 100Ah Lithium
Solar 1 x 170W flexible
Air-conditioner Harrier Plus
Gas 2 x 9kg
Sway control Lippert
Cooking Dometic fan-forced oven
Fridge Dometic RUA6408X 188L
Microwave NCE 23L
Bathroom Separate shower and toilet
Hot water Fogatti instant HWS
Shower Fully moulded with shampoo shelf and footrest
Toilet Ceramic cassette
PRICE AS SHOWN
$84,490 Melbourne excluding delivery charges
SALES & SERVICE
3775-3777 Pacific Hwy, Tanah Merah QLD, 4128
Ph: (07) 3180 3000
DARIO CARAVANS POORAKA
SALES & SERVICE
833 Main North Road, Pooraka SA 5095
Ph: (08) 8277 4388
SPRINGVALE CARAVAN CENTRE
SALES & SERVICE
723-731 Springvale Road, Keysborough VIC 3173
Ph: (03) 9798 3954